22 Aug 2014

French journalists' Papua detention continues

2:39 pm on 22 August 2014

Reports from Indonesia say the two French journalists held in Jayapura in Papua for more than two weeks are to be transferred from the immigration administration to police cells.

Robert Dandois and Valentine Bourrat were arrested in Wamena for allegedly violating their tourist visas by reporting for a French-German television station, Arte.

Citing security concerns, the Indonesian government usually bans foreign reporters from Papua, which has been the scene of a low-level rebellion against Indonesian rule for about half a century.

The two journalists reportedly met separatists as well as the chairman of the Papua Customary Council, Forkorus Yoboisembut, who has just finished serving a prison term for treason.

The Jakarta Post says police have confiscated their footage and equipment.

Media freedom groups have asked for the pair to be released.

It is not known for how long they will be held.